Carrer Major, 13, 43003 Tarragona, Spain
Located in the historic district of Tarragona city centre, El Vergel is one of the most unique restaurants we have ever been too. El Vergel opened in December 2014 at the hands of Alvaro Soto and Angel Martin as Tarragona's first and only fully vegan restaurant. It's aim was to show that anybody with any taste can live a healthy, vegan lifestyle. They didn't just stop at the food however, El Vergel also offers biodynamic wines, ecological and craft beers, and even 42 types of tea from organic farms! For all these reasons, we absolutely had to check it out.
The menu here changes very regularly because it produce is all seasonal, so despite the fact that the menu has ALREADY changed since our visit, I am convinced the new items will be just as delicious as the ones we ordered.
We started by ordering the homemade mini pizzeta and the tofu and tomato salad. The pizza was freshly baked and came topped with a tangy tomato puree and vegan mozzarella. The dough was crispy and the cheese melted in the mouth, we could honestly change to this type of mozzarella forever! The salad was much more light and fresh, the silken tofu was served sliced with fresh locally farmed tomatoes and topped with a traditional catalan sauce called 'Juvert', which is a puree of hazelnuts and fresh herbs, the flavours of which complemented the salad perfectly.
Next up, we ordered the vegan butter chicken curry and the red wine potato stew. The butter chicken curry excelled past many of the typical chicken curries you can get at your local takeaway, the exception being that this meal was completely guilt free and healthy. The stew was hearty and heavy, just as any stew should be. The flavours were homely yet distinctly Spanish, owing to the local organic red wine it is made with, and the vegan parmesan that topped it could also easily replace regular parmesan in our diet, flaky and tangy, adding a perfect juxtapostion to the red wine.
Finally, we chose two desserts, both of which were presented beautifully and of course completely vegan! The red velvet cake was thick and rich, it was perfectly complemented by the salt and chocolate shortbread it was served with. The other dessert; the almond, pear and white chocolate cake on the other hand was sweet but quite light, topped with a light vegan cream, if only also desserts were this guilt free!